Top 10 Things I am Grateful for this Past Year
by Mark Votava
Gratitude is something that I have to be intentional about or I will fall into cynicism, bitterness and despair constantly. This has been a major struggle for me over the course of my life. I can easily turn melancholy and withdraw from the world. But I am learning to practice a better way of gratitude the best I can in the midst of life’s difficulties.
So as I have been thinking about this a lot, here are 10 simple things that I am grateful for as someone who is created in the image of God and called to live in my true self.
1. I am grateful that I can breathe. Breathing is a gift of life. I take this for granted sometimes and do not recognize what I have in this gift. I would have no life without it.
2. I am grateful that I can walk and run. My legs are a gift that carry me where I want to go. I am grateful that I do not have to use a wheelchair or crutches to get around. The ability to run and walk has been such a blessing in my life.
3. I am grateful for the local community I live in. The neighborhood I have lived in for the past decade is such a gift to me. This place where I get to seek God on the earth has shaped me tremendously. I would not be the person I am today without it.
4. I am grateful for the ability to read books. I see books as friends who teach me about life. So I am grateful to be able to party with friends as I spend lots of time in silence, solitude, reflection and rest. This brings me joy and peace among the stress of life.
5. I am grateful that I can move. Life is about movement in whatever way we can. I am grateful that I can move my body and experience life through all of my senses. As I move my body, I am seeing how much wonder there is in this.
6. I am grateful for the many people who make me feel loved. Authentic Relationships bring me life. All of life is relational. I am grateful for all the people I know who love me as I am.
7. I am grateful for laughter. Laughter does not come easy to me. But I am grateful on the days and moments that I can experience laughter. This is something that is necessary so I do not become angry, cynical or frustrated in life.
8. I am grateful for sleep. Sleep is so necessary and needed to function. I am grateful that I can sleep through the night without being terrified. Sleep helps me to get the rest I need so I can seek God the next day in new ways.
9. I am grateful for food and shelter. I am not very happy when I am cold and hungry. I am grateful for a bed to sleep in and a room that is warm. Having food to eat is something that is a gift in life.
10. I am grateful for clothes. Having clothes to wear is such a gift. I get cold very easily so a warm coat, some long johns, a shirt, hat, scarf and gloves is essential in the winter months. I think I would die a miserable death without the gift of clothes to stay warm.
What are you grateful for?